In June 2016 Global Reviews observed and measured 400 consumers as they sought after a new mortgage provider online and found that 28% of consumers are unable to find the product range on mortgage websites.
The ability to quickly and easily locate and compare product options is an obvious top need for consumers when researching products online. This is no exception for those looking for a new mortgage provider so it’s a concern when so many consumers are struggling to complete what should be a simple task.
Consumers on the ING Direct website had the highest effectiveness rate with 81% for navigating from the homepage to an area dedicated to showing the product range. They were closely followed by CBA with 80% and Heritage Bank with 78%.
Given their high success rate, it is not surprising that consumers on the ING Direct website had a much higher level of satisfaction in completing the task with a score of 86%, against the industry average of 75%.
Whilst having a direct and clear navigational path from the homepage to the product page is vital, it is equally important to deliver on content once consumers arrive on the page. This includes adequately detailed information, product comparisons and tools to assist the consumer in finding the best product to suit their needs.
Comparing product options
On average, consumers rated the comparison capabilities of mortgage providers at 75%. The ease of comparison was rated at 71% whilst the interactive elements within the comparison tools only averaged a best practice score of 40%.
NAB was the worst performer with a score of just 44% for how easy it is to compare options. Meanwhile, St George and CBA lead the industry with scores of 81% and 80% respectively ahead of an industry average of 71%.
Some of the key features the top performers include on their comparison page that help to boost their scores are:
- Detailed information including whether or not an offset account is available for the product.
- Information as to whether redraw facilities are available.
- Displays definitions of industry specific jargon or displays a link to a glossary
- Ability to compare all accounts in a single location
- Displays interest rate information for each account
- Ability to print the comparison table
Minimal tools for matching products to needs
To find the product that best suits their needs, consumers could read about each product individually or look at a comparison table, however, these methods do tend to rely on a certain level of understanding of how the product works. Something that especially those new to the market would have difficulties in doing successfully.
The solution? A needs matching tool.
Five of the eight brands assessed in this study do not offer such a tool and therefore rely on a certain level of knowledge and understanding from the consumer. A risky move given 17% of consumers said they would leave the site and go elsewhere if they faced difficulties on a site.
The three companies within the industry that do use a tool to assist consumers in deciding which mortgage account is right for them are CUA, ING Direct and NAB. By including a tool to assist in needs matching, these brands scored well ahead of the industry average of 36%. CUA scored 67%, ING Direct scored 62% and NAB scored 50%.
A needs matching tool doesn’t have to be extravagant. The use of guiding questions is a simple way of leading consumers towards a product most relevant to their needs. Obviously the more interactive elements and detail the tool includes, the more confident consumers will be in knowing that they have selected the right product to meet their needs. Given how few brands are offering such a tool, even the basics will deliver a better online experience than having no tool at all.
Taking out a mortgage can be a daunting enough task without the added stress of trying to navigate and understand details on a brand’s website. By providing the right information in an easily digestible format, brands can help consumers feel more confident in their decision and therefore instill a stronger sense of trust in the brand.
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